Thursday, October 28, 2010

These are not jewelry.


I heard it for the first time last night and I just laughed and then I saw the video and it couldn't have been more perfect.

If you dress up like your (least?) favorite most awful processed/fast food for halloween and go to Chipotle, you can get a $2 burrito! Hot damn! It's part of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which is pretty awesome.

This is a face I make a lot of the time.

I was sifting through photos on my computer last night for A LITTLE WONDER, and I came across this. Joe took it. We were on a frozen lake covered in art shanties. You can read more about that here:

And I suggest you do, because it's pretty cool. I love Minnesota.


This is a jewelry-free post because TRUE STORY, I worked on nothing last night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I am working on some things.

Some new things, like getting some of my photographs together to put here. (I've only had it for 2 years...)

Some jewelry things, like a pile of custom pieces. And some earrings. And charmy things. And I have another home show in 1.5 weeks? Oh!

Some pony things. Cholula is such a rock star. I love her. Last night we rode in the LOUD arena, with winds whipping around outside up to 60mph. The canvas was flapping, the metal bars were creaking, but Cho settled into work like it was any other day. Because she is awesome.

I need to order silver and I should probably just do it but I'm being really optimistic/hopeful that silver prices will go down. Even though they probably won't. $23+ per ounce, sir. No thank you.

It's taking ever fiber of my being to not buy everything. I am in shopping mode, and some people make some really fantastic things.

Like this:

And these:


Monday, October 25, 2010

Back to normal.

I mentioned my weekend was a whirlwind of wonderful. And it was. Some rings I was surprised to see stick around for so long found fingers - happy! And we capped it all off with a lovely dinner and (more) lovely wine.

The world would be a better place with more wine + jewelry parties. For sure.

I added a handful of my made to order items to my etsy shop for the holiday season. Stacking rings like these:

Earrings like these:

And of course, horse halter tags and horseshoe necklaces. Because ponies and girls that love them need presents too.

This afternoon I'm going to take a NAP and then head to the barn to ride ponykins. I haven't ridden in a week and have only seen her a few times in the dark while feeding. I miss her.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

hello, it is Saturday.

I can't believe day 2 of 3 of the open house is already over. My lungs are rejoicing (asthma triggered by allergies in a house with multiple cats - which is one of my worst triggers), the rest of me is not.

It's such a wonderfully different thing to sell in person after months of only interacting with people online. I get to see their reactions. I get to tell them how I made something. I get to see people pick something up and watch their faces and put it in their basket. Things I made!

Not to mention being surrounded by such great people. There is a woman who makes beautiful pottery. And another who makes lovely scarves and collages. A gentleman that brings his southwestern flair and endless stories. And another woman, new this year, who makes deliciously rustic copper and silver pieces. And then, of course, the hosts - making piles of gemmy earrings and necklaces, 22k and 24k chains, and SO much more.

Everything about the open house weekends is a treat and I wish they could happen every month.

I finished these 2 earrings shortly before I went over to set up yesterday:

A little different take on my lulas. Next time I do them this way I think they need to be made with a thicker gauge of silver...these are featherweights. I rather like them, though. And I like the texture.

Shaboom earrings:
I started these over a year ago! They kept getting pushed back. Originally they were going to have metal spoony things hanging from them, but I tried it and didn't like how any of the variations looked. Then I tried wire wrapping some stones and I thought that would work, so I ordered these lovely garnets. Autumn-y earrings! Swingy earrings! I really love them. Little fall jellyfish for your ears. They sold almost I may have to make another pair or 2.

That is all over here...the etsy shop will be a bit bare upon it's reopening, but that's just fine. I will manage. I will make some more. You know.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

3 necklaces. (preview)

I finished these up on Tuesday.

Leftmost: Carnie carnelian necklace. Wait til you see the back! (As usual, my camera picked up more red in the carnelian. It's definitely red-ORANGE.)
Center: Submarine OJ necklace in autumnal hues...this one I made for you! The first one I ended up keeping...I am wearing it right now, actually.
Rightmost: A glowing drop of prehnite. I pierced the little seed pod motif (as seen on the pod necklaces & a few other things) on the back.

Apparently I'll be posting photos later to show the backs of all of these...they all have their own little details!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go remove the insides of my ears. They have been itching for the past hour and I don't think I can take it much longer. (If anyone has an allergy medicine that actually works, do tell. I'm fairly sure I've tried them all, but perhaps there is a magic drug out there that I'm missing...)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

I'm back!

I have reopened the etsy shop til Friday, when it will close again until Sunday evening. I can't believe the fall open house is already here! I also can't believe I'm so prepared for it!

Yesterday I jumped into the studio to finish up various pieces sitting on my bench. The poppy jasper necklace that I hadn't touched for 6 months? Well, I decided to finish it.


This piece makes me feel as though I shouldn't make jewelry. And I don't know how to solder. And that I need a bigger torch (this is a sure thing, I would really like to upgrade to acetylene/oxygen, as scary as that is!).

I think I made the whole thing work, but I'm not holding my breath. I guess we'll see after I put it in the polisher to give it a thorough cleaning. Solder fails always show up better then.

In other news, I'm quite pleased with everything else to be finished. A dear little prehnite necklace (it's pretty dear. Seriously.), a small carnelian necklace with an old/new design, and a submarine necklace for the shop instead of me, since I kept the first one. A handful of earrings and then it's on to price tags and earring cards and I'll be set to sell!

Recap of my trip to see my favorite boyfriend:
-Young's double chocolate stout ice cream floats (!)
-lots of fried things at the TX state fair, including cookie dough, oreos, and pickles.
-minor panic attack on the ferris wheel at the TX state fair.
-lots of sleeping.
-lots of television show marathons.
-my favorite cupcakes ever!
-lots of being completely lazy
-a little plant browsing

And then I came back to one of the neediest cats in the universe. I woke up in the middle of the night and she had positioned herself next to me/on my arm in such a manner that it was as though I was holding my very own live stuffed animal. Pathetic.

Oh, and...

There will be a give away on facebook before the end of the week!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Goooooood moooorning!

This redeemed my awful shower this morning (the water switched every 60 seconds or so from scalding hot to ice cold and so on and so forth) and we're back to being off to a fabulous start to the day.

I hope you love it TOO.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Made to fit YOU.

I'm giving something new a try. I've seen a few others on etsy doing this, and it makes sense. I mean, I can hope that someone falls in love with my jewelry. I can then further hope that it fits their fingers.


I can just make it their size to begin with.

For all of you new to the jewelry game: Once a stone is set, it's done. I have no resizing equipment (and even then, I'd only be able to stretch a ring up a size or so). I also don't particularly like the idea of resizing things, as metal only has so much malleability. So, unless I took the ring apart, potentially rendering it to a point of no return, it can't be soldered after the stone is set. Stones will crack, children will cry, and all in all it's very devastating.

I picked these 2 designs because they are full of quirk and I want to give them the best chance they can have.

This boulder opal reminds me so much of the Big Island. Much of it is made up of neutral lava rock, yet it's surrounded by the deep blue of the Pacific and hosts lush greenery and gorgeous fresh water pools with waterfalls spilling into them. The stone is largely made up of brown ironstone, with streams of watery blue and clear opal running throughout.

The setting is embellished with pieces of silver that remind me of one of my favorite things in the whole world: snorkeling. There is nothing like floating in the water for hours, watching all of the fish and underwater plant life interact.

A lovely slab of imperial jasper in shades of mauve and grey and cream. Two stacks of hammered dots of silver (I melted silver into balls and hammered them flat - these are thick and rich!), 3 silver balls attached to the bezel.

I would be happy to make either of these into a ring in your size or a pendant, depending on your preference!

Please contact me here, by email, or on etsy if you're interested. I am closing shop tomorrow for my 10 day vacation, but they will be there when I return - I'm not bringing them to the open house on the 22nd!

it is time.

Every once and awhile I decide it's time to learn a new technique. I'm always learning new things, I'm always improving on what I do know, but to take on a completely new technique? That takes a certain amount of sass that only comes around once in a great while.

I have a long list of techniques I want to learn...someday. A lot of things prevent me from learning them now: time, money, lack of equipment, etc. But every once and awhile, seemingly out of no where, I decide to take one of them on. "I'm doing this now." I buy what I think I'll need and I do it.

"I'm doing this now" hit me 2 weeks ago. With a supply order I generally add things into my cart over the course of a few days, checking all of my silver stock, tools, stones, etc, to be sure I don't need anything else. I'd been messing with my cart for a few days and realized I could really just go ahead and make the purchase.

However, for reasons unknown, I decided to take a quick look at the faceted stones. I had no plans for faceted stones. But as I looked through them I said "Ok, let's learn tube setting." and I started putting stones in my cart.

I looked up a quick article to make sure I got the right bits and size of tubing and a half hour later I had rearranged my cart again to accomodate the new items.

Now: I know the very basics of what is essentially bezel-setting faceted stones. By "I know" I mean someone told me sometime/I maybe saw a video/I read it in a book. "I know" you have to carve out a little seat in the tubing (or, if actually making a bezel - which I suppose you could do if you were really masochistic and have the hands of a tiny child - make a seat out of wire inside the bezel). "I know" that it's a very precise and delicate process but once you get the hang of it shouldn't be that difficult. I may have made that last part up. I just don't think it should be, given the basic steps.

But for some reason, I thought 3mm would be an excellent size to learn with. Just in case you're not familiar with the metric system, that's really tiny. Also, for reference, my warm stacking rings are 3mm stones.

Hello, my name is Jessi and I'm not feeling very optimistic about turning that foot of sterling tubing into tiny tiny settings for tiny tiny stones.

I'm fully expecting a lot of profanity, yelling, possibly crying, and eventually saying "f it" the first time around and setting the damn thing upside down in a normal bezel and making a tiny ring in which to stab people with.

And hopefully by the time I go through all of the garnets ( there are 6) I can decently set the citrine and iolite. And still have tubing left.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I'm in machine mode. This means making lists and getting overly excited when I get to cross something off as complete. Last week, as evidenced by my blog posts, I went earring crazy. I have a handful of designs I make over and over because people like them. Especially open house people. When I realized how soon the open house was coming up and that I had very few pairs of earrings for said open house, I went to remedy that asap. We are now up to a happy number of earrings, but I still have 3 pairs to finish and 2 to start. !

I am secretly hoping that at least one pair of poppy posts does not sell. So I can keep them. They really don't take much time to make and I could just sit down and DO it one of these days...but it is so hard to make things for myself. Too little time!

Here are 2 of the many pairs that are complete, though not yet in the shop:

Petal Posts

These were born of my incredible ADD and hyperactive studio time. I kept going back to the general concept, and oval oval oval, in between "and then solder and then file this and then wire wrap that and then oxidize these and then set that and then and then and then....!" My hands couldn't keep up with my brain.

And then at one point when I was trying to accomplish something else, I looked down at my table and saw an old template stuck to the top of it that was the exact size and perfectly imperfect shape for the idea. So I dropped whatever it was I was doing and cut these out. Good story.

Bow Earrings

A bit of a variation on some earrings I made in the past (you know, the coral and peridot similar to this. you know.). I bought some larger gauged beaded wire semi-recently, as the small stuff was making me mad. Crazy mad AND angry mad. It breaks everytime I pick it up and try and do something with it. I deem it mostly useless.

But not this beaded wire! This stuff behaved. And that was good. I've had those little vintage glass beads for like 2 years and I'm glad they turned into something more fun than their originally intended purpose, which was the most boring earrings ever. I've grown.

The ear wires are pretty long on these puppies, but I can't remember how long they hang down. Longer than your average pair of earrings. Whatever that means.

That is that! Soon-like I will tell you about my latest endeavor, which involves me employing small children with amazingly developed manual dexterity in order to set tiny, tiny faceted stones. Just kidding. We have child labor laws in this country.

But I did buy some tiny, tiny faceted stones and a foot of tubing and somehow the stones are supposed to go in the tubing. In the tubing. Right. If you saw the lack of tools and how I actually do things you would laugh at how hopelessly optimistic (read: stupid) I am being in thinking I can make this work. Seriously. I have 2 pairs of pliers and one is the cheapest pair of round-nose you've ever seen and the other pair aren't even jewelry pliers. And that's it. You'd be amazed at how many uses I've found for my vice! Desperation breeds creativity? I don't know. We'll discuss another day.

Off to the post office and to find some lunch!

Monday, October 4, 2010

a handful.

I made some things, you know.

And then I photo'd them and even managed to put some in my shop.

I've decided that I will be closing the shop while I'm on vacation. Because it's vacation. I've also taken out anything that's made to order, because I have other things to worry about this week, like getting my apartment and clothes clean before I leave.

Sorry to be so's not much of a writing day for me today. Maybe after I have my coffee and don't feel like walking zombie. I hate you, Monday.

Onto pretty things!
Lunar Earrings
I will be honest with you: I like these earrings. But I like them significantly more because I've associated them with Major Tom and anything remotely associated with David Bowie, even if it's my own doing, makes me a little giddy.

Rawhide Ring (part II)

I know I've probably mentioned this a few times before, but I really love Owyhee Jasper. In every form and pattern and color. I also feel like I'm a grown-up jeweler because it's like I made a little series.

Deery Me earrings

I started these with the intention of having them at the art fair. You know, the one in July. Sometimes it takes me a long time to pick something back up again.

That concludes today's blogging fun!

Friday, October 1, 2010

new. announcements. WEG!!!

This week I have been cheering on the grand prix riders doing their thing down in Kentucky at the World Equestrian Games. I so badly wish I could be there to watch - it's so close! - but I have faith that at some other point in my life it will be in the US and I can attend then.

Dressage is truly the closest I get to understanding those who care about sports at all. I think American football is boring, the most unathletic sport ever, and did I mention boring? I don't understand when people are personally invested in *THEIR* team winning and how it can make or break their day.

I care about dressage because it is my sport. And really, it is so much more than that. It is about harmony, athleticism, and partnership between horse and rider. Sure - I want the US to bring home medals. I am thrilled for Steffen Peters getting his bronze. But, I'm just as excited to see a great US ride as I am to see a great ride from any other country. This ride, for example, still gives me goosebumps everytime I watch:

I love how expressive she was - you can tell she loves her job.

Anyway, onto some jewelry things!

This weekend I have 5 new earrings, 2 new finished rings, and 2 new *you pick the size* rings to show you/list! Exciting! I will be finishing up photographing them this afternoon, and some will be listed tonight with the rest tomorrow. I'm prepared this time: all descriptions are written!

Shop closure announcements:
October 8th-17th I will be in Texas.
October 22nd-24th I will be participating in the fall open house I do every year. Everything not sold will be listed on etsy when I recover from the weekend!

I haven't actually decided if I will completely close up shop when I'm in Texas or not. I want to give these you pick the size rings a chance, but I also want to bring them to the open house, finished, if they don't sell.